Sources & Extracts
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The Roman Catholic "Declaration on Abortion" argues
against abortion on the basis of scripture, Church tradition,
and natural reason. According to the Declaration, the "light
of reason" indicates the following:
11. The first right of the human person is the right to life. He has other goods of which some are more precious, but this one is fundamental -the condition of all the others. Hence it must be protected above all others .
12. Any discrimination based on the various stages of life is no more justified than any other discrimination. The right to life remains complete in an old person, even one greatly weakened; it is not lost by one who is incurably sick .In reality, respect for human life is called for from the time that the process of generation begins. From the time that the ovum is fertilized, a life is begun which is neither that of the father nor of the mother; it is rather the life of a new human being with his or her own growth. If would never be made human if it were not human already.
13. To this perpetual evidence -perfectly independent of the discussions on the moment of animation- modern genetic science brings valuable confirmation. It has demonstrated that, from the first instant there is established the programme of what this living being will be: a man, this individual man with his characteristic aspects already well determined .The least that can be said is that present science, in its most evolved state, does not give any substantial support to those who defend abortion. Moreover, it is not up to biological sciences to make a definitive judgment on questions which are properly philosophical and moral, such as the moment when a human person is constituted or the legitimacy of abortion. From a moral point of view this is certain: even if a doubt existed concerning whether the fruit of conception is already a human person, it is objectively a grave sin to dare to risk murder. "The one who will be a man is already one."
Reference: Sacred congregation for the doctrine of the Faith, "Declaration on Abortion," 1974